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Author Topic: Darwin arrival Photo  (Read 2120 times)

Matt Revington

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Darwin arrival Photo
« on: December 08, 2016, 02:14:44 PM »

I may regret bringing up this topic but I was looking at photos labeled AE arriving in Darwin (see below) and noticed something in her hand.  In her hand is a box with what looks like the image of a small jar on the front, somewhat recalling the notorious freckle cream jar.  The design on the box itself does not the match the one box of Dr Berry's that was found in the earlier round of research this topic but the product was offered over a 30 or 40 period so there may have been different designs.  Someone with good image processing software might be able to get a bit more out of this.
The article that this came from ( https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/28-june-1937/) .
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2016, 07:11:18 PM »

Hi Matt,
Ricker Jones discovered that photo a few years back. Several TIGHAR members, including Tom King and I, have studied it. We think it may show a rectangular "carry-all style" fold-out compact, an example of which is now selling on eBay.

Tom King has written a reflective :D blog article concerning the photo and other research on the two thin pieces of beveled glass found at the Seven Site.

I could go into more detail on the history of the research of this should there be any interest.
Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078
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Matt Revington

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 08:15:55 PM »

Thanks Joe, this was much more likely a case of me seeing what I wanted to see in a low resolution image than anything else.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 07:32:16 AM »

We think it may show a rectangular "carry-all style" fold-out compact, an example of which is now selling on eBay.

I don't think so.  That looks like a small cardboard box with some kind of label on it.
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 08:14:23 AM »

I don't think so.  That looks like a small cardboard box with some kind of label on it.

Well, it could be a box.

One important question is whether or not Earhart carried a compact on the world flight.

There is some evidence from a newspaper account she did.

Ricker wrote on June 20, 2012:

"A quote below is from Melbourne's The Argus newspaper's article describing Earhart's arrival in Darwin, remarking that she powdered her nose before she exited the Electra. Interestingly, there was also a photo taken in Darwin at that time which captured AE on the wing of the Electra with an item in her hand which looks like it could be a compact. The photo was published in the Adelaide The Mail in a story following the failed flight.

'Her navigator, Captain Fred J. Noonan, began to move from
the cockpit of the machine-"the flying laboratory"-as
the engines were shut off. But Mrs. Putnam pulled him
back. Then, nonchalantly producing a puff, she powdered
her nose before stepping out of the cockpit to wave
cheerily to the crowd. Her slide down the wing to the
ground followed.'

From The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), Tuesday 29 June 1937, page 9
"

Ricker, Tom and I have no basis to know whether or not any of these compact tales are true, but it's easy to understand why we think they may be true.

The photo and the story of AE "producing a puff" before deplaning could well have been referring to the same place and time, the Darwin arrival while on the wing of the aircraft, and therefore could well refer to the object AE is holding in the photo.

It's not unassailable. It's simply a reasonable possibility, probably to be no more than that, but it's the kind of thing I always find intriguing.


Joe Cerniglia
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« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 06:16:52 PM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 08:28:34 AM »

I think it's entirely reasonable to think that Earhart had a compact with her on the world flight and I think that the glass and makeup found at the Seven Site are strong evidence for the presence of a compact, but I also think that "stretches" like saying that box may be a compact are counterproductive.
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 08:58:31 AM »

I think Ricker did a good job of defending his proposition, to the extent he was able. He didn't prove it; he merely tried to support it. Many a piece of good evidence starts out as a piece of weak evidence. To only share what one considers good evidence is to withhold the hard work in making it so and the opportunities for further research. Maybe there is another news article sitting in an Australian archive such as the one Ricker visited with an even better photo.

My only role here was to try to call up the research that had transpired and the discussions as they occurred and which are largely already available for public consumption. Assignments of "value" to that research will be left to others each according to his or her wits.

That may not be the last word on the subject, but it's really about all I can say.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078

Edit: There is one last word, however. In the interest of thorough citation, here are links to the article describing Earhart powdering her nose before deplaning in Darwin, and the photo showing a box in the shape of a folding compact, headlined "at Darwin":
Photo From The Mail (Adelaide, SA: 1912-1954, Saturday 3 July 1937, page 1)

Article From The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1954, Tuesday 29 June 1937, page 9)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 07:50:42 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Matt Revington

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 10:18:07 AM »

I don't know if the image of AE on the wing coincides with time of the powder puff use.  The page I took the image from includes a quote from AE which I assume came from the "Last Flight" book
"The country of this northern coast of Australia is very different from that surrounding Koepang. There jagged mountains rose against the dawn, while here, as far as one could see, were endless trees on an endless plain. The airport is good and very easy to find. We were pounced upon by a doctor as we rolled to a stop, and thereupon were examined thoroughly for tropical diseases. No one could approach us or the airplane until we had passed muster. If this work is done at all it should be thorough, and I approved the methods, although the formalities delayed refueling operations. The customs officials had to clear the Electra as if she were an ocean-going vessel, but that was done with much dispatch. Inasmuch as we had little in the plane but spare parts, fuel and oil, the process was simplified. At Darwin, by the way, we left the parachutes we had carried that far, to be shipped home. A parachute would not help over the Pacific.” —Amelia Earhart

There is someone behind AE on the wing of the plane in the photo who is looking into the cockpit . To my eyes he looks like an official (medical or customs), my guess would be the photo more likely coincides more with that moment.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 10:54:11 AM »

I don't know if the image of AE on the wing coincides with time of the powder puff use.  The page I took the image from includes a quote from AE which I assume came from the "Last Flight" book
"The country of this northern coast of Australia is very different from that surrounding Koepang. There jagged mountains rose against the dawn, while here, as far as one could see, were endless trees on an endless plain. The airport is good and very easy to find. We were pounced upon by a doctor as we rolled to a stop, and thereupon were examined thoroughly for tropical diseases. No one could approach us or the airplane until we had passed muster. If this work is done at all it should be thorough, and I approved the methods, although the formalities delayed refueling operations. The customs officials had to clear the Electra as if she were an ocean-going vessel, but that was done with much dispatch. Inasmuch as we had little in the plane but spare parts, fuel and oil, the process was simplified.

They were actually impounded for ten hours.  Their smallpox vaccination certificates had been signed by a private physician and Australian regulations required that they be signed by a government health official.  They had to get a specia waiver from Canberra.

At Darwin, by the way, we left the parachutes we had carried that far, to be shipped home. A parachute would not help over the Pacific.” —Amelia Earhart

And yet, a newspaper account from Darwin specifically describes Earhart picking up two parachutes that had been sent to her in Darwin.  The parachutes can be seen in a stack of gear beside the cabin door.  Also in the stack is a bottle of nitrogen for servicing the landing gear struts, a spare tail wheel, and a control yoke.  it's not knownwhether thios stuff was being loaded aboard or off-loaded.

There is someone behind AE on the wing of the plane in the photo who is looking into the cockpit . To my eyes he looks like an official (medical or customs), my guess would be the photo more likely coincides more with that moment.

He's wearing short sleeves.  Definitely not Fred.

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Krystal McGinty-Carter

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 11:56:43 PM »

Can I weigh in on what she might have in her hand?

Loose face powders were very popular in 1930's. Unlike a compact, loose powders went on with a fluffy, squishy "puff" rather than a thin pad like you would find in a flat compact. These powders were usually packaged in pasteboard or tin boxes, rather than compacts. They were designed to give full coverage and were meant to be used on the whole face to create a flawless "canvas" for the rest of the makeup, just like modern foundation.  The compacts were generally designed for touch ups, rather than doing the whole face....you'd run out of powder in 3 days.  Many of the American brand loose powders were packaged in round containers...however, many foreign brands, particularly European and Asian brands were packaged in square boxes and tins. She very well could be carrying a powder box. She wouldn't have powdered up her face for a long flight with no one to impress but Fred. It might make sense that she used loose powder...its faster and covers better. And it has a conspicuous "puff" to go with it.

-Krystal "Doesn't even wear makeup most of the time" McGinty
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Krystal McGinty-Carter

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Re: Darwin arrival Photo
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 12:00:56 AM »

Here are a few.
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